1/2/2019 – 1/4/2019
I finally got the footage I was looking for of a herd of coatis. At one point there was a crash and all the coatis scattered and a howler monkey was walking along the ground. Very unusual and I wonder what was going on there. Took a final look at the beach, said goodbye to one of the beach cats (we saw four in total). We packed up and the shuttle came and we departed for the airport which was a total zoo. Our Sansa flight was very chill and we arrived in San Jose and the guy was waiting to take us to Xandari. We checked in and went to our gorgeous villa. Such a nice room! Then we took a hike around the grounds, the steep tour to the waterfalls. They weren’t kidding about the steep. Considering how close in to the city it is it’s amazing how remote it feels. We cleaned up and went to the hotel restaurant which is one of the highest rated in the area. They tortured the salads (check the photo gallery to see what I mean) but the food was really good. The view is of course spectacular there. Then we went into the “warm” tub and off to bed.
Mark woke up not feeling well at all. The steak he’d had the night before did not agree with him. Every time I’ve felt badly on vacation it’s been due to a piece of red meat, so my new resolution is to avoid beef while out of the country. Anyhow, we had breakfast which was really nice and that view! Then brought him back some bread. We walked around a bit and took photos of “where the piggies come from” (a ceramic statue Charlotte identified as the piggy house when she was two and then again when she was eight) and their new sunset pool. By now Mark was somewhat recovered so we embarked on our second Viator tour, to the Toucan Rescue Ranch. It was about an hour away in Heredia, and we got there early so we walked to a little restaurant, La Posada, where we got batidos (fruit drinks) and Mark got club soda. The woman asked me if Mark was okay because her mom was worried! So cute. Then we went back to the ranch for the tour and it was fantastic. They had so many animals, they told us the story of all of them, and we got to spend forever looking at the baby sloths. They even had a potoo!! The Viator guy was totally into it too, taking lots of photos. Then we went to the Hotel Don Carlos in downtown San Jose for a late lunch. The chef there made us a typical casado, which may have been the girls’ first time having one even though that is what you mostly get at a restaurant in Costa Rica. It consists of rice, beans, plantains, some kind of vegetable or salad and fish, beef or chicken. The chef made the girls veggie ones with egg and cheese (still not a fan of queso palmito, Costa Rican cheese), I had fish and Mark nibbled at chicken. Then we drove home, chatting with the driver about everything. You really do learn so much! Back at the hotel and we went to the gift shop and settled our bill and back to the room to finish the bottle of wine from the night before, go again to the warm tub, and look at that gorgeous view.
Time to go, so sad. Up early and fortunately Charlotte spied a huge fluffy caterpillar walking across the floor which made it really easy to get Genevieve up! We made it out in time to catch our shuttle and scarf down the hotel provided breakfast of banana bread, hardboiled eggs and fruit. Once through security at the airport we had time to shop a bit and then fly first to Phoenix again where we had to wait 45 minutes for a gate to open up. But we still had time to get food before our next flight and that was the worst flight mishap so that was good. Home to San Jose California to find all was in order, except Rogue chewed a hole in herself and now she has to wear the cone of shame.